Jerusalem, Jul 10 (AFP) Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu received today a suspended two-month prison sentence and community work after a Jerusalem court decided against imprisoning him for a misdemeanour from over four years ago.
The 62-year-old former nuclear technician was jailed in 1986 for disclosing the inner workings of Israel’s Dimona nuclear plant to Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper.
He spent more than 10 years of his sentence in solitary confinement.
Upon his release in 2004, Vanunu was slapped with a series of restraining orders, forbidding him from travel, contact with foreigners or speaking to media.
He has twice been jailed for breaking those orders.
In January, Vanunu was convicted of meeting with two US nationals in Jerusalem in 2013 without having permission to do so.
Vanunu had been cleared of two other charges, one of which related to an interview he gave to Israel’s Channel 2 television in 2015.
In his ruling today, magistrates court Judge Yaron Mientkavich noted that in the time since, the supreme court “softened” the prohibition to allow Vanunu to speak with foreigners, though Vanunu’s incriminating conversations would have been a felony even under the new guidelines.
Mientkavich gave Vanunu a suspended two-month sentence, as well as 120 hours of community service.
At a sentencing hearing earlier this year, Vanunu had told AFP he was confident he would not return to prison.
Israel is the Middle East’s sole if undeclared nuclear power, refusing to confirm or deny that it has such weapons.
Israel has refused to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or to allow international surveillance of its Dimona plant in the Negev desert of southern Israel. (AFP) CHT
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.